Only just over a tenth of businesses in the FTSE 100 are fully reporting on diversity measures, according to consultancy Radley Yeldar.
While the majority of HR decision makers believe their organisation is telling a transparent story on D&I, and 70% think it should be mandatory to publicly report progress, there’s a disconnect between their intent and what they report.
Four-fifths of HR decision-makers believe their organisation is clear on D&I progress, but only just over half (53%) state that they report on their strategy. Only 5% of the organisations analysed by Radley Yeldar make their record on D&I available on their website.
Among those that do report, six in 10 do so because they want to be held accountable for their plans. Thirty-nine percent believe reporting on D&I is critical if businesses are to be held accountable as corporate citizens, the research found.
Time and budget are the biggest barriers to transparent reporting, according to Radley Yeldar’s research. Thirty percent said these were the most challenging factors, while 15% felt a lack of clarity on who is responsible for D&I was a stumbling block.
A lack of clear narrative on D&I was a problem for 11%, and the same proportion felt their organisation had “no clear purpose or joined up thinking” on the work it was doing on diversity and inclusion.
That said, there is a clear desire to do more: two-fifths of senior leaders want to see D&I progress data published more widely, and 22% want to see more transparency.
Just under a third (32%) want their organisations to work more closely with employee resource groups and networks, and 28% want a broader group of stakeholders involved in D&I initiatives and reporting.
Sharn Kleiss, head of employee experience at Radley Yeldar, said: “It’s a huge positive that ambition and passion for progress on D&I has clearly found its way to UK businesses’ top tables.
She added that robust reporting is “critical to progress” because it sets up organisations for accountability.
“While we’ve come a long way, it’s clear that more needs to be done. Our research shows that people up and down the country are calling on their businesses to prioritise D&I – that means more budget, a greater focus on reporting, and a more joined-up, coherent direction.”